The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Of the hundreds of dessert recipes I have on my blog, I realized that I didn’t have a chocolate cake recipe so I changed that.

With the easiest, one-bowl, five minute, from-scratch chocolate cake you’ll ever make.

If you’re addicted to cake mix, you can break free. I’ve been there.

I made this cake without a mixer and it was ready to go from bowl to oven in less than five minutes with just a couple turns of the whisk.

I’m the first to admit that cake mixes can be great because they’re convenient, the results are nearly guaranteed, and they produce moist and light cakes.

This scratch cake does the same.

Except it’s darker, richer, and more intensely chocolaty than a cake mix chocolate cake, which is a good thing if you like a nice dark, deeply chocolaty, chocolate cake.

One way in which I kept the cake moist was by adding yogurt, which can be replaced with sour cream if that’s what you have on hand. Just don’t use light or diet yogurt or sour cream. Use thicker or Greek-style full-fat yogurt. You’re making chocolate cake, not diet food, so forego the watery diet yogurt.

I also kept the use of baking powder to a bare minimum because I find it dries out cupcakes, muffins, and cakes. The recipe uses just enough to give the cake lightness and lift so that it isn’t confused with the denser and flatter chocolate slab that we all know as a brownie.

Finally, I do love butter and will almost always choose butter over oil in baking; except when baking a cake. Oil produces a moister cake in my experience and since all that lovely buttery flavor is going to be masked anyway from the cocoa powder, you’re not giving up anything in the flavor department and gaining worlds in the moisture category by using oil rather than butter. A win-win for oil.

Not sold on the cake yet? Allow me to sell you on the chocolate ganache.

Ganache is made by heating cream and pouring it over chocolate and I kept this ganache super simple by heating the cream in the microwave. You could heat it over the stove, but why bother.

The beauty of the ganache is that even after it sets up, it still has a juicy quality to it in comparison to say buttercream frosting, which can become a bit hardened around the edges after it’s been exposed to air for a few hours. Crunchy frosting is never a good thing.

If frosting can taste elegant and classy, this ganache is how; as opposed to this frosting which is more along the lines of a finger-lickin’ good frosting.

There’s no sugar added to the ganache and it’s only as sweet as the chocolate you select, which in my case was semi-sweet chocolate chips. Go as milky or dark as you enjoy. Feel free to spike your ganache with a couple tablespoons of bourbon, rum, or a fancy flavored liqueur.

Skylar requested this cake for her next birthday and Scott said, “Good idea, honey. This cake does taste like chocolate birthday cake tastes.”

Yes, of course it does because most chocolate birthday cakes are cake mix cakes.

Now you can bypass the cake mix and make this in five minutes instead.

The Best Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Ganache - The best chocolate cake I've ever had, and the easiest to make! Nothing fussy or complicated & delivers amazing results every time! 

Print Print Recipe

The Best Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Ganache

This is the best chocolate cake I've ever had or made, and it's the easiest. One bowl, no-mixer, no creaming ingredients, and nothing funny. This cake is fast, easy, and always delivers amazing results. You can bake it as cupcakes, too. The ganache is rich and velvety, and the perfect pairing with this deep, dark, not-too-sweet, and very moist cake. The cake is a reader favorite!

Yield: one 9-by-9-inch square cake, 12 generous pieces

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 25 minutes

Total Time: 90 minutes, to allow for cooling


Chocolate Cake

1 large egg

1 cup granulated sugar

6 ounces plain, vanilla, or chocolate yogurt (thicker Greek-style preferred, do not use diet, fat-free or light yogurt; sour cream may be substituted)

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup brewed coffee, room temperature or warm

1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional

Chocolate Ganache

9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips)

3/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or optionally use 1 to 2 tablespoons rum, bourbon, coffee-, orange-, raspberry-, chocolate-flavored liqueur)


Cake - Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and whisk until smooth and combined. Add coffee, cocoa powder (I used Hershey's), and whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and free from lumps.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and whisk vigorously until batter has just combined, about 1 minute. Note about coffee: The coffee does not make the cake taste like a coffee-flavored cake. Rather, it brings out and enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder and adds depth of flavor; I highly recommend coffee but use water if you must. The coffee can be any temperature other than piping hot; you don’t want to scramble the egg.

Pour batter, which is a loose and fairly runny batter, into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan completely, at least 30 minutes, before adding ganache or frosting the cake, or before slicing and serving. Unfrosted cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or store frosted cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Chocolate Ganache - Place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power for 1 minute to soften chocolate; set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, heat the cream (I used half-and-half) on high power just until it begins to bubble and show signs of boiling, about 60 to 75 seconds.

Pour hot cream over chocolate and let it stand about 1 minute. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and velvety.

Add vanilla or optional flavorings and stir to combine. Set bowl aside for about 10 minutes, allowing ganache to cool and thicken a bit. Whisk mixture briefly before pouring all of it over the cake. Lightly smooth and spread the ganache with a spatula or offset knife. Allow ganache to set up for at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving the cake; or speed this process up by placing pan in the refrigerator or freezer briefly.

Related Recipes

White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars – these use cake mix but the preparation method isn’t traditional

Mounds Bar Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookies

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting – my favorite brownie base recipe which is as easy as making brownies from a box, I promise; and it’s the brownie base I use for all brownies before doctoring them up with other add-ins or tweaks

Frozen Chocolate Pudding and Wafer Cake (No-Bake, 3 ingredients)

Chocolate Cake Batter Milkshake

Do you have a favorite from scratch cake recipe?

Feel free to link it up; chocolate, yellow, vanilla, carrot, red velvet, whatever it is as long as it’s amazing.

How often do you use cake mixes?

I did a 15 Recipes Using Cake Mix (But None of Them Actually Make a Cake) post and since then, I’ve really cut down on the amount of cake mix I use. They have their time and place, and I will always use them I’m sure.

However, I’d like to post more classic type recipes on my blog and an easy, but practical, tasty, and moist chocolate cake from scratch was a good place to start.


320 Responses to “The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache”

  1. fides — February 4, 2014 at 4:24 pm (#

    I hardly comment on any food blog sites, but this one I will.

    Made it the other day…and yeah… this was as good as it looks, and too dangerous because it was to easy to make too. Hubby and I fought over the last piece, of course I won because I had leftover coffee to go with it. I used Hershey’s dark cocoa powder and for the frosting used half-n-half and Ghirardelli’s 60% & some 70% dark chocolate and it was perfect.

    You are so right about the butter vs. oil, because this cake kept its original texture even after being in the fridge for 3 days. Love that it only has 1 egg and 1/4 cup of oil – not crazy about chocolate cake recipes that require 2 sticks of butter!

    Hubby said I need to make another one tonite. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Averie Sunshine — February 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm (#

      not crazy about chocolate cake recipes that require 2 sticks of butter! = neither am I!

      Glad you loved it and thanks for commenting and that’s cute that you fought over the last piece :)

  2. Sheila — February 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm (#

    I’m not much of a baker, but your pictures make me want to make this cake! To use the batter for cupcakes, though, how many cupcakes would it make and what temperature and timing would I use? Thanks very much.

    • Averie Sunshine — February 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm (#

      I would bake at 350F until they’re done. Normally cupcakes take 18-20 mins but it really depends on your oven, the batter, how full they’re filled, etc.

  3. candice — February 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm (#

    I found your recipe via Pinterest and made it for a friend’s birthday who requested chocolate on chocolate! It was such an easy recipe, thank you for all of your notes and tips- it turned out AMAZING! Everyone loved it, especially and most importantly the birthday gal! This recipe instantly made my favorites list and I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you, Thank you!

    • Averie Sunshine — February 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm (#

      Im glad you loved it! Thanks for trying it & I hope your friend had a happy bday :)

  4. Marcell — February 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm (#

    Followed recipe as written….don’t change a thing. Perfect for a chocolate fix and so simple. Awesome!!

    • Averie Sunshine — February 16, 2014 at 1:06 am (#

      I’m glad you love it, as written, and wouldn’t change a thing! Thanks, Marcell!

  5. Carrie — February 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm (#

    Looks delish! My 3 year old has requested a chocoalte cake for her Bday and for her school cupcakes…any way to replace the coffee with something? Sounds amazing just concerned about 3 years hopped up on caffeine? hehe

    • Averie Sunshine — February 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm (#

      There’s really no substitutes. I’m sure there’s more caffeine in the overall chocolate used in the cake between all the cake and ganache than from the coffee added. They probably get more caffeine eating Halloween candy. I personally wouldn’t worry about it but do as you see fit. It’s great cake and it would maybe come out to 2 teaspoons per each cupcake, if that! :)

    • Marilyn — April 23, 2014 at 11:23 am (#

      I made it with decaf coffee when I made it. It tasted fine. Although you’re probably right to be more worried about all the caffeine and sugar in the chocolate.

  6. helene — February 28, 2014 at 5:26 pm (#

    Can I double the recipe and turn it into a layer cake?

    • Averie Sunshine — February 28, 2014 at 7:16 pm (#

      Yes I’m sure that would be fine although I haven’t personally tried.

    • helene — March 1, 2014 at 4:52 am (#

      I baked it in a large rectangle pan, cut it into two halves and then sliced each half to end up with four 8 x 8 pieces. I assembled with thin layer of ganache topped with a thicker layer of ganache on top. Then placed lots of fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate. This made for an easy special occasion cake, totally delicious. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

    • Averie Sunshine — March 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm (#

      I love your idea of stacking the 2 halves and filled & topped with ganache and strawberries dipped in chocolate. I bet the presentation was stunning! Glad you enjoyed this cake!

  7. T. Benson — March 17, 2014 at 10:53 am (#

    I am thinking of making a cake for my Husband on our 3rd anniversary this Friday. I want to make a “surprise” cake (with a surprise heart inside). Do you think that I can incorperate your chocolate cake with the secret heart inside, instead of the cake this “surprise ” cake recipe? If so, how much time should I bake your cake in an 8×4 loaf pan??? Thanks in advance :)

    • T. Benson — March 17, 2014 at 10:57 am (#

      incorperate –> I meant cooperate (excuse my english). I forgot to send you the link of the suprise cake I found on pinterest, my description might not be so clear

    • Averie Sunshine — March 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm (#

      I don’t have any experience baking a cake within a cake and really cannot comment. That said, this is not a ‘tall’ cake and I think you’d have problems fitting anything inside it, unless you make a 2-3x batch and turned it into a layer cake and then you’d have to work on getting the other cake into it which I don’t have any experience with.

  8. T. Benson — March 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm (#

    Thanks for so much for your quick response :)

  9. Michelle — March 18, 2014 at 5:23 pm (#

    Made this today…absolutely delicious. This is my first time ever making a cake without butter, the sour cream made it so moist!

    • Averie Sunshine — March 18, 2014 at 6:23 pm (#

      Thanks for trying it and glad you’re so happy! And yes, butter-free cakes that are based on oil, greek yogurt or sour cream…always softer & moister than butter-based ones in my opinion!

  10. Esmile — April 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm (#

    Saludos. Que gran pagina tienen. Pero me gustaría saber si pueden pasar las medidas a gramos. Y Como soy de Venezuela no encuentro casi ningún producto podrías recomendarme una pagina donde comprar el chocolate Hershey y los bombones que son de melosa cubiertos de chocolates, que usas para los cupcakes rellenos. Gracias de ante mano

  11. Linda — April 7, 2014 at 7:57 am (#

    I made this cake for my family and everyone loved, loved, loved it! The cake was so moist and light. However I thought my ganache never really firmed up, I just poured it on the cake, there was no need to spread it. I did use 2 tbls. of bourbon instead of vanilla, could that be the reason? Thank you for this delish recipe :)

    • Averie Sunshine — April 7, 2014 at 12:30 pm (#

      Glad you loved the cake! If your ganache never firmed up fully, next time I would cut down on the milk/cream slightly or up the amount of choc chips. It can be a delicate balance to get it just firm enough, but not too firm. Just play with it a little bit. The bourbon vs. vanilla really wouldn’t matter per se; but you could easily solve this I’m sure by just decreasing the milk amount a bit. Glad you loved the cake!

  12. liz — April 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm (#


    oh wait, you’re probably wondering why you’re being thanked, besides the obvious (easy cake, hello): my boyfriend’s birthday party is saturday and i am swamped with work and running around getting things done and i don’t have a mixer with a paddle attachment and he WANTS CAKE and i WANT TO GIVE HIM CAKE and this is all one sentence. so yes, thank you. this + the ganache + raspberry mascarpone = happy birthday!

    small question: would you suggest dutched cocoa with this recipe? we’re both fans of black chocolate cake.

    • Averie Sunshine — April 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm (#

      You can use either type of cocoa but b/c Dutched is about 4x the price of non for me, I 99% of the time just use what I can get at my local supermarket. Happy Bday to your bf!

  13. Anna — May 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm (#

    This looks so good I almost licked the screen. I’ll be making it for a friend’s birthday. One question…does the ganache allow writing on it? (With icing, of course.) Or will the words slide right off the ganache?

    Gorgeous blog!

    • Averie Sunshine — May 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm (#

      The ganache is pretty drippy and slick. If you want to write on it with icing, I’d use a traditional choc buttercream or similar buttercream. But not a ganache. Honestly though, I’d skip the writing and make the ganache and save the writing for a card :) b/c I think the ganache is a key element to the cake’s flavor!

  14. Dee W — June 25, 2014 at 5:51 am (#

    Hi, Averie. This cake is fabulous! Apparently it was one of my daughter’s beanie babies’ birthday this past Sunday and my kids all wanted me to bake a chocolate cake for him (lol). I was able to quickly whip up this cake and it was a hit. Definitely a keeper — very moist and nice and light. Thanks!

    • Averie Sunshine — June 25, 2014 at 10:33 am (#

      Glad you made this cake and that everyone enjoyed it and bravo to you for cooking for your daughter’s beanie babies’ bday – wow, you get mom of the YEAR award for that one!! So impressed :) Thanks for the great feedback on the cake!

  15. Melody — July 4, 2014 at 9:44 am (#

    Averie, I am so looking forward to making this for my upcoming birthday! Is it possible to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder instead if natural for this recipe? I’m in Malaysia and I have the Van Houten brand.

    • Averie Sunshine — July 4, 2014 at 11:26 am (#

      I think that will be okay. I don’t use Dutch-processed because in the US it’s much harder to get and more expensive, but I think you will be fine!

    • Melody — July 18, 2014 at 4:56 am (#

      I ended using natural cocoa powder. The cake was absolutely marvelous! I’ve made it twice now, and added a pinch of instant coffee to the ganache frosting when I made it the second time for a deeper chocolate taste. Thank you so much!

    • Averie Sunshine — July 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm (#

      Thanks for trying the cake, Melody, and I’m so glad you love it! Great idea to add instant coffee to the ganache, too! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Eram — July 20, 2014 at 11:55 am (#

    Hi…love this recipe I’ve tried it so many times. Now I want to make in 9×13 pan…if I double the recipe would it be fine.? I want to cover it with buttercream . Do u have a recipe for that.

    • Averie Sunshine — July 20, 2014 at 12:59 pm (#

      I think you’re fine to double it for a 9×13 although I haven’t personally tried.

  17. Sabrina — August 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm (#

    Awesome recipe – looks really simple, and yes, I’m tired of all the cake mix recipes myself:). I’m not very good at baking and have a (silly) question, if you don’t mind – is there a difference between heavy cream and whipped cream? Can I use whipped cream for the ganache instead of heavy cream? Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Averie Sunshine — August 14, 2014 at 12:08 am (#

      Heavy and whipping cream only differ in fat percentage, usually about 40 to 48% fat, depending on brand, type, etc. For this recipe, you can use either.

  18. Nina — August 23, 2014 at 3:47 am (#

    Hi! I would love to try this recipe as I am a huge fan of a moist chocolaty chocolate cake but I do not wish to incorporate coffee in it. What should I do? Is it possible to totally make this recipe without the coffee or can I substitute it with something else? Thanks!

    • Averie Sunshine — August 23, 2014 at 7:44 am (#

      I urge you to use coffee because like I said, it doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee, at all. If there is a medical reason you don’t want to use it or a more serious reason, I totally understand; but if you’re just judging by your personal preferences, even those who don’t like coffee love this cake, as written. It’s called THE BEST for a reason – make as written is my advice. Water can be used but it will effect final taste results.

  19. M — September 4, 2014 at 6:53 am (#


    I was just wondering if the texture will vary very much if the batter was used to make cupcakes instead of a cake?

    • Averie Sunshine — September 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm (#

      Many readers have used this recipe to make cupcakes with good results.

  20. Erjona — September 5, 2014 at 6:21 am (#

    Thanks for this recipe. I just tried it and it turned up very delicious.

  21. Walda — September 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm (#

    I live alone, and usually freeze a cake and then cut it up into serving pieces, wrap them individually, and then put them in the freezer (my freezer is not self-defrosting, so it doesn’t draw the moisture out of anything). Can this cake be frozen with the ganache topping?

    • Averie Sunshine — September 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm (#

      Sure – give it a try! Worst that can happen is it’s not ‘perfect’ when you take it out of freezer and you scrape off the frosting. Right!

  22. Amanda — September 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm (#

    My daughter turning 6 this week really wanted a chocolate cake for her birthday but she has a soy allergy. It’s hard to find a cake that is soy free and taste good. This turned out amazing the only difference I had to make was to get Joy Life allergy free chocolate chips. Thanks so much for this and how easy it was. I’m not a baker and it was easy for me.

    • Averie Sunshine — September 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm (#

      Happy bday to your daughter and glad this worked out as her bday cake, allergy-free and everything for her! Excellent! :)

  23. Sheila — September 30, 2014 at 9:08 am (#

    Hello Avery!

    Will this recipe work at high altitude? Or should I adjust it? It looks too delicious to pass up and I’m new at baking at high altitudes.
    Thank you!!

    • Averie Sunshine — September 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm (#

      I live at sea level (San Diego) and am not an expert on altitude baking. I would make the recipe as written and then if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, you can always tweak it from there.

    • Sheila — September 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm (#

      I’ll report back with my results ;) I absolutely have to try this! Thank you for replying!

  24. iram — September 30, 2014 at 9:35 pm (#

    Hi Averie,
    I only have an 8×8 pan. Will I need to add a few minutes or do I need to just buy the 9in pan? thanks in advance. :) Hope you and your family are well

    • Averie Sunshine — September 30, 2014 at 11:53 pm (#

      You can probably use an 8×8 although I haven’t tried. Just add some time, yes, as necessary til it’s done. Enjoy!

  25. Jenifer — October 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm (#

    I see some chocolate cake recipes call for coffee.. just curious as to why and do I really have to use it in the recipe for it to taste better?

    • Averie Sunshine — October 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm (#

      It intensifies and deepens the chocolate flavor. It’s up to you to use it or not, but I recommend doing so.

  26. Maryanne — November 3, 2014 at 6:14 am (#

    Looks wonderful. Making it today for my son’s birthday.

    Your site is a little frustrating to use though. All the ads slow it down tremendously. When I printed the recipe all sorts of ads popped up and bogged it down and made my browser crash the first try. There are so many great food blogs out there that I usually won’t come to a site like this twice just for this reason alone.

    Really looking forward to this cake though.

    • Averie Sunshine — November 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm (#

      Sorry about the slowness. My site experience record-breaking traffic over the weekend and there were literally hundreds of thousands of people who came to my site over the weekend and with all that traffic, it will run slower. I just upgraded my servers so hopefully that will not happen in the future.

      Enjoy the cake! It’s one of my favorites!

  27. sinthia — December 22, 2014 at 10:49 pm (#

    can u please tell me, u said coffee,is it coffee powder or liquid coffee that we drink.thanks in advance

    • Averie Sunshine — December 23, 2014 at 9:33 am (#

      Liquid, brewed coffee. Like what you’d pour into a coffee mug and drink.

  28. Liza Austria — December 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm (#

    Made this cake thrice already and it is always a hit in the crowd. I even paired it with cupcakes and put some shaved dark chocolate as an added decorations on top. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe of yours, Averie.

    • Averie Sunshine — December 30, 2014 at 10:35 pm (#

      Glad this has been a hit to the point you’ve made it three times and I love the shaved dark chocolate idea too!

  29. Keisha — January 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm (#

    You do a great job of explaining every step of making this cake. Can’t wait to try!

  30. Unaiza — January 10, 2015 at 1:41 am (#

    great receipe…..but I have dark cooking chocolate instead of chocolate chips… much do u think I should use it….

    • Averie Sunshine — January 10, 2015 at 12:51 pm (#

      Probably about the same as the chocolate chips BUT I haven’t tried with anything other than chips so not sure how exactly it will (or won’t) set up with anything other than chips.

  31. Chaitra — January 16, 2015 at 2:49 pm (#

    Hi Averie, the chocolate ganache cake looks absolutely delicious! I was going to make this for a small get together with friends. One concern I had is if I make the cake in the morning and needs to be served the same evening, do I keep the cake with the ganache refrigerated and then leave it our for about 30 mins before serving?

    I do not want the ganache to harden while serving. Please advice!


    • Averie Sunshine — January 16, 2015 at 2:57 pm (#

      Mine never hardens fully in the fridge but you will have to play things by ear because all ingredients and climates vary.

  32. Chaitra — January 16, 2015 at 7:12 pm (#

    Hi Averie,

    Thanks for your reply. I live in the US and its winter now hence I asked. Also, would adding sour cream make the cake taste little sour?

  33. Shraddha — January 18, 2015 at 11:19 am (#

    I’ve made this cake about 10 times and every time it comes out perfect. Thank you so much for this awesome recipes. I follow the recipe to the T. I use a really good chocolate bar for the ganache which makes a big difference.

    • Averie Sunshine — January 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm (#

      Thanks for making it so many times and glad it comes out perfectly every time! And yes the better quality chocolate you can use, you’ll always get even better results!

  34. Angela — January 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm (#

    Ms. Averie…in the recipe above, you have a 9 x9 inch pan, cover with foil,
    then grease and flour a 10 inch round pan
    am I reading this correctly?
    did you mean just the 9 x 9 inch pan which is covered with foil, greased, and floured?
    Thank you for your kind attention.

    • Averie Sunshine — January 28, 2015 at 2:40 am (#

      You can use a 9-inch SQUARE or a 10-inch ROUND. A 9-inch round will not likely be large enough to hold all the batter which is why I specified that; but I always make this in a 9×9 square. Enjoy the cake!

  35. Angela — January 28, 2015 at 4:07 am (#

    Ms. Averie…thank you so much for your timely reply!
    I used the 9 inch square pan and it turned out really super well!
    I am just beginning to bake and the first time for anything is an ok thing–
    THIS TIME, great success!
    Thank you!!

    • Averie Sunshine — January 28, 2015 at 1:30 pm (#

      Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!

  36. A R — January 28, 2015 at 11:16 am (#

    I just put this in the oven as my son picked this cake for his birthday today. Fingers crossed cause I just saw that you said the batter will be very runny….mine was more like chocolate pudding and I double checked that I didn’t miss any ingredients so I guess we’ll see.

    • Averie Sunshine — January 28, 2015 at 1:18 pm (#

      Could have just been your yogurt was thicker OR you could have hard-packed the flour and over-measured it making the batter thicker. Happy Bday to your son!

  37. A R — January 28, 2015 at 7:01 pm (#

    Sorry, it wouldn’t let me comment to your reply. I use Fage 2% plain and my flour was not packed. Not sure why, but must have had a bad baking day. The ganache didn’t get very thick and kept running all over lol. I made a round cake in a spring form. Cut part of the top of it to make it more flat and I think it helped too cause some of the ganache went into the cake. My younger son who doesn’t like anything cake was happy to have ganache on his ice cream though. My birthday boy loved it and will most likely eat the rest of the cake himself as I am not a fan of cake, especially chocolate and I think hubby said he thought it was too much chocolate as well. But as long as the birthday boy was happy I am too :) I will most likely try it again when he liked it so much and maybe try it with sour cream to see if it makes a difference. BTW My son says Thank you!

    • Averie Sunshine — January 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm (#

      Thanks for LMK what you used. Your Fage sounds similar to what my yogurt is probably like…I have made the cake with Greek yogurt, yogurt, sour cream, lite versions, whatever I have had on hand and it’s never came out anything but great for me – but it sounds like your cake itself was great!

      Sounds like the ganache was a little thin. If that happens again to you, just add more chocolate! And/or with this recipe now that you know this, reduce the amount of cream you add and keep the chocolate the same.

      As long as your bday boy was happy, that’s all that matters! Thanks for trying the recipe!

  38. Melanie — February 6, 2015 at 12:55 pm (#

    Hi Averie,

    I’ve used this chocolate cake recipe often enough now that I have had to Pin it. At our house it’s called BS cake. Last year my husband asked for an impromptu chocolate cake for his birthday. Okay. I found your recipe. Soon enough, it became not just his birthday, but his “Birthday Season,” which guaranteed a few more of these chocolate cakes before all was said and done (his purpose in declaring it birthday season in the first place).

    Today is my nine-year-old’s birthday party, and she has asked for BS cake, too. I guess I’d better make sure I can always find your recipe!

    Thanks so much for sharing it—

    • Averie Sunshine — February 6, 2015 at 2:05 pm (#

      I love the stories you have associated with this cake! How fun and so glad it’s turned into an all-seasons, and all-birthdays, ‘BS Cake’. Thanks for pinning and so glad you and your family love this cake!

  39. susan — February 8, 2015 at 7:32 pm (#

    Can I use the ganache frosting to frost a 3-layer cake? Is it thick enough to hold up on it’s own between the layers of cake and sides of cake? Thank you!

    • Averie Sunshine — February 8, 2015 at 7:33 pm (#

      It would be borderline although you could adjust it to make it a thicker ganache by using less cream/half and half.

      Please read over the Baking and Recipe FAQs for answers to the most common questions.

  40. Linda — February 18, 2015 at 6:30 am (#

    Glad to see someone else was confused by it saying “Line a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking or grease and flour a 10-inch round cake pan; set aside”. “or” makes much more sense here than “and”! I wasn’t sure if I had to make some kind of bain marie with two pans.

    I’ve got the oven preheating and coffee cooling in a cup ready to get started. Now I’ve sorted out the confusion over the pans (from reading the print-out), I can get started :-D

    • Averie Sunshine — February 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm (#

      The recipe did say OR (I went back and re-read it…but I also just updated it). I get so many questions, can I bake this in a muffin pan, as cupcakes, in a round pan, etc that I try to ‘accommodate’ many in my directions but I just took it all out to say, square pan, done :)

      Enjoy the cake!

  41. Linda — February 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm (#

    That’s odd, because I copy/pasted the instructions to my print-out. It doesn’t matter anyway. Once I saw your reply to the previous comment, I realised that I only needed one tin!

  42. Dina — March 3, 2015 at 2:03 pm (#

    This cake looks moist and delicious. Can I make this using oat, rice, or spelt flour?

  43. Hira — March 4, 2015 at 6:04 am (#

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I made it today for my mom’s birthday. I wrote happy birthday mama with buttercream frosting when the ganache set. I did use a 9 inch springform pan though because thats all i have and it turned out fine :)

    • Averie Sunshine — March 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm (#

      You are so sweet to bake for your mom on her bday! And so glad the cake was a hit and I love that you wrote in the ganache with buttercream…so creative and I bet she was just thrilled!!

  44. Hira — March 6, 2015 at 6:16 am (#

    I have one question though. So you don’t use butter in any type of cake or just chocolate cake? Will a yellow cake turn iut fine if i replace butter with oil? Do i substitute the same amount? And what about those recipes that require creaming the butter and sugar together? Butter is kinda expensive so if i replace it with oil, it’ll be nice.

    • Averie Sunshine — March 6, 2015 at 8:04 am (#

      Your question is complex because in some recipes you probably could just swap out butter for oil and in others, you probably can’t. It’s impossible to say which ones that will work with until you experiment with them. I write my recipes with oil in mind so I know they work. I have many yellow/white cake recipes that use oil here.

  45. Barb — March 6, 2015 at 8:38 pm (#

    I have just discovered your fabulous website and the recipes I’ve tried so far are terrific! Soft sugar cookies with sprinkles is now my favorite cookie! I do have a question. I notice that you almost always line a baking pan with foil. Is that simply for easier clean-up or have you found a baking advantage to using the foil. I’m just curious and don’t want to miss anything! Your recipes are easy to follow and the photography is amazing! Thanks! By the way, I almost always put some form of coffee in chocolate cakes.

  46. Emily — March 14, 2015 at 5:37 pm (#

    I made this cake and I hate to say it but it was bland. Going back over my measurements I’m fairly certain I used half a cup of cocoa but the cake, just wasn’t there for me. My fiancé accidentally used all our semi sweet chips so in the heat of the moment I grabbed white chocolate chips. I knew the batter would run thin and the flavor was a tad overly sweet but that made the cake worth it. Any ideas on how I can do a better job next time?

    • Averie Sunshine — March 14, 2015 at 7:07 pm (#

      Sounds like you deviated from the recipe quite a bit by adding white chocolate. Make sure you’re using strong brewed coffee and decent cocoa powder and don’t add things that aren’t called for, i.e. white chocolate, and I think you will love this cake. Thanks for trying it and sorry it wasn’t for you…I have honestly in 3-4 years of having this recipe up, NEVER had anyone say the cake was bland. I think maybe re-make it using really good quality ingredients, not anything more, not anything less that’s written in the recipe, and you’ll love it.

  47. Stacy — March 16, 2015 at 11:27 am (#

    This cake was a great hit with my family, especially my step-son, who adores chocolate! It was so simple and fast and I am glad that it is a smaller cake so that the “temptation” is not around long enough to tempt me to endulge! Thanks so much for the recipe and I love your blog!

    • Averie Sunshine — March 16, 2015 at 11:45 am (#

      Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad that the size is great for you too, temptation-wise :)

  48. andrea — March 18, 2015 at 2:59 pm (#

    do you take cake out of pan to ice?

    • Averie Sunshine — March 18, 2015 at 3:09 pm (#

      For this cake, no. I just pour the ganache over the cake while it’s still in the pan.

  49. Entisar — March 25, 2015 at 10:59 am (#

    Thank you Ms Sunshine for this easy yet delicious chocolate cake , which i made it in 2 different occasions and turned out very good and I felt soooo proud.

    • Averie Sunshine — March 25, 2015 at 1:36 pm (#

      Thanks for trying the cake and I’m glad it came out great for you twice!

  50. Iman Ali — April 19, 2015 at 1:19 pm (#

    This has to be the absolute best chocolate cake I have ever tried in my life. This is not an exaggeration. T is so fluffy and moist and full of flavor. I will never make any other chocolate cake again.  Thank you so much!!!!!

    • Averie Sunshine — April 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm (#

      Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you and that you’ll never need another chocolate cake recipe ever again!!

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